Microsoft Doubles OneDrive Storage to Entice iPhone 6 Owners

To celebrate the launch of Apple's new iPhone 6, Microsoft is giving OneDrive users a major capacity upgrade. But with a catch or two.


Microsoft is betting that owners of Apple's new iPhone 6 smartphone and iPhone 6 Plus phablet not only will be making the most of their bigger screens, but also their new cameras.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software and cloud services company announced that it is doubling the amount of free OneDrive cloud storage to 30GB, from the recently upgraded 15GB limit. The upgrade, part of a limited-time offer, requires that users designate OneDrive as their photo and video backup destination.

"All you have to do is sign up for OneDrive and activate the auto upload feature for your camera roll sometime between now and the end of September, and you will get 30 GB of free OneDrive storage moving forward (15 GB base and 15 GB camera roll bonus)," instructed Douglas Pearce, group program manager of Microsoft OneDrive, in a Sept. 19 blog post.

Under the new program, 30GB of OneDrive capacity will be split in half between general file storage and a camera roll's photos and videos. And in keeping with OneDrive's multiplatform support, Microsoft isn't alienating its other users.

The added capacity will show up for existing Windows, Windows Phone, Android and iPhone owners who already use the OneDrive camera roll option, said Pearce. The bump in cloud storage may also help some users cope with one of the biggest challenges of upgrading to Apple's latest mobile operating system.

iOS 8 includes several new enhancements and security features, but they come at a steep price for some users. An over-the-air update can require upward of 5GB of free space, causing users of low-capacity iPhones and iPads to choose between their content and the update. (Upgrading via Apple's iTunes software nixes the 5GB requirement.)

"For those getting ready to install iOS8, this means you won't have to delete a bunch of photos or apps to make room for the upgrade," stated Pearce. "For those buying a new phone, it means you can take all the high resolution photos and videos you want without worrying about the amount of storage you have."

Microsoft and rival cloud storage providers such as Amazon, Google and Dropbox have been locked in a battle of one-upmanship in a bid to attract sought-after mobile users.

In June, Microsoft increased its free OneDrive cloud storage limit to 15GB from 7GB, matching Google Drive. It's a figure the company arrived at by observing that "3 out of 4 people have less than 15 GB of files stored on their PC," according to OneDrive Program Manager Omar Shahine. "Factoring in what they may also have stored on other devices, we believe providing 15 GB for free right out of the gate—with no hoops to jump through—will make it much easier for people to have their documents, videos, and photos available in one place," he added.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...